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Boston has big shoes to fill at Winter Meetings

Red Sox shopping for DH to replace Ortiz, seeking setup man
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Shopping season has arrived for the Red Sox, and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and his crew are ready to pounce at the Winter Meetings this week.

From Monday through Thursday, all 30 teams will be under one roof, along with agents.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Shopping season has arrived for the Red Sox, and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and his crew are ready to pounce at the Winter Meetings this week.

From Monday through Thursday, all 30 teams will be under one roof, along with agents.

MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016 Winter Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. Fans can watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 9 a.m. ET.

Hot Stove Tracker

Manager John Farrell is expected to speak to the media at 5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

The Red Sox will push forward in their quest to replace David Ortiz's bat. One of their top targets -- free agent Carlos Beltran -- has reached an agreement with the Astros.

Sox aim to build around strong core

Now that Beltran is apparently off the market, it will be interesting to see how adamant the Red Sox are about getting a left-handed bat to replace Big Papi.

An elite slugger remains for the taking in right-handed free agent Edwin Encarnacion. He has no bigger fan than Ortiz.

"Not everybody is hitting 40 bombs in the big leagues and doing all the damage that he's doing," said Ortiz. "Edwin, he knows the American League. He knows that this division is a tough division to play in, and what he does is guaranteed. It's scary to think what he can do."

Competition will be fierce for Encarnacion's bat, but Jose Bautista -- also a free agent -- might not be a bad consolation price.

Aside from needing another bat, Dombrowski's other main objective is to find a setup man capable of pitching the eighth inning. Greg Holland, who missed all of last season following Tommy John Surgery, is one possibility.

Red Sox feeling no urgency

At November's General Managers Meetings, Dombrowski said he didn't expect to add another starter this winter. The Red Sox already have six vying for their five-man rotation.

Video: Porcello, Price headline experienced staff for 2017

However, rumors continue to persist that Boston could be in the sweepstakes for White Sox ace Chris Sale.

Go to Redsox.com and MLB.com to keep tabs on all relevant storylines surrounding the Red Sox.

For the Red Sox, who have yet to make an acquisition since being bounced out of the American League Division Series by the Indians in October, it should be an eventful Winter Meetings.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox